The eulogy I wrote and read at my Nan's funeral
Helen Steeden - 11/12/1917 - 12/07/2003
Nan, Mum, Little Nan, Helen, Nel or Nelly-
Different relationships, different generations.
Yet this same, single, most remarkable person was responsible for shaping and enhancing our lives... my Nan.
A unique lady who treated everybody in the same manor and gave everybody the same opportunities, irrespective of age or circumstance.
A person who overcame any problem she faced with such courage and dignity.
A great teacher, provider and protector.
If you were under Nan's wing (as most of us were at some stage in our lives), you felt an enormous comfort of being safe, loved and cared for. However, it has to be said, if you did something wrong or upset her, boy! did you know it!
Though such was her loving determination, she would always help you to right the wrongs.
We ll know of Nan's loving, emotional qualities:
The joy she brought to a party,
How she was a stickler for hygiene,
The way she always held a tissue in her hand,
Her tot of whiskey before going to be,
Her ability to help everyone,
And of course, her famous story telling.
No one could tell a story like Nan!
Her mannerisms and enthusiasm kept you enthralled time after time, even if you had heard the story before.
In fact, you would often find yourself requesting certain stories from her.
She obviously drew from her own experiences and memories, and at times with mixed emotions. Though, very importantly, she never had cause for regret.
These wonderful stories have virtually become part of our family tradition.
Passed down from Nan to Sylvie, to grandchildren and even great grandchildren.
Told by Nan time and time again... and time again.
And yet always received with such anticipated excitement.
To Nan, the passing on and creation of all memories was most important and worth far more than any family heirloom.
And quite rightly so.
Such family values, which thankfully, she instilled in us all.
So many stories, so many people and events, over so many years.
And I'm sure many of them shall be shared amongst us all here today.
It's hard to pick a favourite. So for now at least, I won't.
I would like to spend what little time is left, to simply pay tribute and say just how proud I am, and we all are, of Nan.
Personally, Nan played a huge role in my development and upbringing.
Literally from new born to the present day.
Her influence and wisdom has shaped the very person I am. And in turn, this is also reflected in her great grandchildren of which she adored.
They too, also grieve with us, and wish to express their love and gratitude, their thankfulness and heartfelt warmth, for being able to simply share a part or Nan's life. Nan was living proof that such loving, unselfish, and truly remarkable people, do and can exist in this world. And we too, should all feel honored and privileged to have shared so much with just of them.
Love, pride, dignity, respect, are just a few of the key words that I automatically associate with Nan.
Held in such high esteem, in awe, of what many of us aspire to be.
We love you Nan.